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Narrowbody jets are becoming popular for transatlantic travel

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Narrowbody jets are becoming popular for transatlantic travel, with airlines recognizing the cost advantage of flying smaller, more fuel-efficient planes between low-demand city pairs. (www.businessinsider.com) More...

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cnyflyboy
Stephen Donnelly 33
The only ones making narrow body jets popular are the airlines, not the passengers. Regardless, how about a premium comfortable seat with amenities on any size aircraft on long haul?
ewrcap
David Beattie 8
Nothing makes a wide body more comfortable except for the psychological effect of more “airspace” in the cabin. You can be squished into a seat with no legroom in either type and in the wide body you have to get by more folks from a middle seat in the center section. Wide body seats are often no wider than narrow body seats and in the case of ten across seating are actually narrower. It all depends on how the airline outfits the cabin.
kcmnyc
Kenneth Mino 4
As a larger passenger (6 ft., 240 lbs), I will attest that narrow body craft can be physically uncomfortable. Use of the lav is awkward at best and it can be painful about the head in turbulence. The curvature of the fuselage requires either a limbo dance posture or stooping, depending on the purpose of one's visit. Getting up just to stretch one's legs is all but impossible, of course, regardless of one's size. I really miss being able to depend on wide body aircraft on longer flights.
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 2
6ft ? please. I'm 6-5 and fly economy. It's tight but not that bad. The curvature in your way ? (not the case, really.). Get an aisle seat. please. It's a 'busride' not a luxury cruise.
mmadeleyn121rg
Mark Madeley 1
I'm 6'2" and 180lbs. Kenneth is a "wide-body" himself, I'm just a "narrow-body" myself and agree with Kenneth, especially when a "wide-body" is in the next seat. Aisle means you get hit by the carts and get luggage dumped on your noggin. But I admire your ability to origami yourself into economy. Great convo and thanks both for sharing.
SkyAware123
SkyAware123 3
wow. you need to stop flying trash-airlines. You get only hit by carts if your legs are where they shouldn't be. Stop being a cry baby. And having a "wide-body" next to you has nothing to do with a wide-body or narrow-body plane.
People need to chill out. It used to take people 4 weeks to cross the ocean.
mmadeleyn121rg
Mark Madeley 1
Waaaaaaaaaaah, waaaaaah, waaaaa-aaaaaah! :-D
strickerje
strickerje 4
I agree; I know it's an illusion, but the wider cabin just feels more comforting to me even though the seats are the same.
overpar56
Steve Stein 5
14+ hrs on a triple 7 from LAX to Sydney in coach, nothing feels big.
strickerje
strickerje 2
Good point. Some years back, I suggested a trip to Australia to my wife. She said "only if we fly business class". I guess we're not going then. ;)
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
No. You gotta go! Just set aside some money each month. I agree with your wife.
CaroleHughes
Carole Hughes 14
I agree with Stephen, Sardines, thin seats, long flying time equals agony for the passenger
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 14
But unfortunately, the passengers are (no pun intended) only along for the ride as the shareholders are the real customers of airlines. Business plan is simply to put bums in seats, the more the better, and make sure the costs are as low as can be. Safety? Not too much due to cost (ref: 737-max) Unfortunately, for the general public aviation is now simply taking the subway at 32,000 feet.
paulgilpin1953
paul gilpin 4
i couldn't let your comment go with just an upvote.
well said.
i agree.
ewrcap
David Beattie 3
It’s that evil capitalist system. If people stop buying, prices come down. Right now, there’s a waiting line and Americans have proven that nothing counts more than price. We will change to an inferior product to save ten bucks.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 4
Yes you will. The spending tipping point for air travel is well past and the result is that flying these days is a commodity. The option for the affluent is 1st class, the very affluent option is the NetJets of the world. Unfortunately, those that have some disposable income (not affluent but well off) will find it harder and harder to find a product that fits their needs. My 2 cents worth.
ashannon38
ashannon38 1
Agony? Really? Come on. Woman up!
sconklan
sconklan 10
I saw where British Air has (had) a special A318 outfitted with just 32 business seats that flew from London City Airport to JFK with a stop in Shannon to refuel and go through American Customs. There were only 8 passengers on it. I might handle that.
ewrcap
David Beattie 3
Check the price. Do you think they fly a 32 seat airplane for the same ticket price as a packed wide body with 300+ seats?
mikehe
Sadly, BA001 was discontinued a few years back. 32 Club World seats and a snug environment.

It was an interesting service, with a part fuel load for take-off at LCY (short runway in the City of London). Landing into Shannon to uplift an Oceanic fuel load enabled the passengers to run through the interrogation by US Immigration on Irish soil, so the plane landed as an internal flight. Pick up bag and just walk off the plane to the taxi rank.
strickerje
strickerje 2
I recall an operation called PrivatAir operating a similar service between Dusseldorf and Newark for Lufthansa using an A319. I thought they also had a scheduled Newark flight from Switzerland, but I can't find it now.
Dgoldenberg
David GO 1
I've taken that flight a few times and it was terrific IMHO. Arriving/Departing LCY was a real benefit.
Propwash122
Peter Fuller 7
The past is the future: before the 1970 debut of the Boeing 747, narrowbody single-aisle jets were all there was.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 1
And a bit more specifically,,,remember the Concord(e)? Single isle aimed at upper-crust travelers. Privileged travel on an A319 somehow has less panache.
ewrcap
David Beattie 2
I loved the Concorde but keep in mind it was a little narrower than a DC9 and the seats were narrow. Of course, 3 hours in said seats was quite liveable.
dcrose1942
Diana Rose 6
Jettison comfort, it's all about the $.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
You’re exactly right about being all about the $. A first class seat at coach price ain’t gonna happen! Especially since people keep buying the cheap tickets.
klimchuk
klimchuk 6
But coach service for business class price is happening all the time
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Don’t pay it.
mkcarpenter49
As long as there are long lines of people purchasing the cheapest seats no matter the discomfort, this will continue. Blame the company and shareholders all you want, but making a profit is capitalism. Do you want the airlines government run? Ho boy. BTW, prices wouldn't be any lower.
ReilyStafford
Reily Stafford 1
You're right, the price is all most people even look at. Personally, I buy tickets on an airline that has better service and better airplanes, and I'm happy to pay slightly more. (But it is really only slightly more.) In fact, I wouldn't fly trans-Atlantic if there were no better option than the US carriers.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Exactly my point sir. I don’t know why people continue to complain when the numbers tell the airlines they are spot on. Go figure!
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
Bingo! You got it!
MichaelFoster
Michael Foster 4
I travel to Scotland frequently, and actually like flying business first on UAL's 757's. No foot traffic in the forward cabin, and the lav is behind the premium seats, but isolated form coach with a curtain. The mid door loading is great, too, as a premium passengers do not have to have elbows and knees bashed by coach traffic.

The 757 was premature in it's demise, and is actually a lot better than a stretched 737. It has double trucks underneath for the extra weight, and the RR engines are powerful and quiet.

But any longer flights, I still prefer the 777, 787 and 767, in that order. Of course, we all miss the 747, which would be the first choice.

Rumor has that Boeing was looking into putting new engines on the 757, and call it the 575-plus.
Carries more weight than a 737, more fuel, double trucks, and can take off from shorter fields than a lot of it's counterparts, which is helpful in hot weather.
21voyageur
Dan Chiasson 0
Yup Boeing F'd up big time with the 757 but due to bad decisions backed themselves into a corner and now we have the "Franken737". Greed and being behind the competition (ie: Airbus) drove that decision. Too bad, have flown the full range of legacy Boeing birds (707,717,727,737,747,757,767,777) many times and is, to me, the best mid-to short long haul technology that the shining house on the hill ever produced.
ukusa
I came to the USA in a Freddie Laker 747 back in 1978 for $69. Oh how I miss those days.
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
Georgina. Go to inflation calculator.com. $69 in 1978 is $300 today. Not sure you could find a RT for $600 today except in the off season but it’s not as bad as you might think.
ukusa
Well my money bought a lot more back then. I found aDelta flight from Atl to Lax for 300 yesterday and thought that was pretty good.
send2gl
Geoff Lane 4
Guess it is all psychological. Couple of years back I did a split flight from Heathrow to San Diego. A 747 on the first leg to Chicago, then a 737 for second leg. The 737 felt so tiny.
dcrose1942
Diana Rose 7
Make the tube longer but narrower....pack'em in like cattle.
mikehe
You mean, like the 200-seat Boeing 737-MAX8200 which Ryanair are hoovering up on distressed purchase deals from Boeing? At least there is an extra emergency exit down the side of the aircraft...
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
Or the non distressed 200+ seat A321.
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
Actually the max seating on the A321 is 236! Approaching DC-8 60 series.
dlfehmel
Doug Fehmel 1
You must have never flown on a DC-8.
ADXbear
ADXbear 7
They suck... guess I was spoiled by real widebody aircraft.
CatheyFord
CatheyFord 2
Just saw a video on how the 747 was built, it was brilliant.
They thought about including a lounge and finally figured out it could be up above the first level….that made history.
dlfehmel
Doug Fehmel 2
I had flown on an Icelandair DC-8 a few times between Luxembourg and Keflavik. A long, narrow single isle airplane. Glad I got off in Iceland, as the very full flight was actually ending in Baltimore, MD. Caught it a few days later, on the return trip to Luxembourg.
Canary6
Thomas Mchugh 2
From Ft. Dix/McGuire to Kuwait in a C-17 in nylon jump seats. I was lucky as a Field Grade got to sit near the front (warmer) of the aircraft. We got a box lunch and I had a lovely view of the comfort pallet. Did the flight in full battle rattle including ballistic vest. Got off the aircraft in Rein Main for 20 minute because they wouldn’t refuel with us on board.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Things haven’t improved much since I left Travis Air Base for Viet Nam in 1970. As a lowly Warrant Officer (helicopter pilot) my seat didn’t have a perk I can think of. Lol
musicmommy
Judy Greene 3
Narrowbody jets are HORRIBLE for tran-Atlantic crossing. I know, bc I’ve done it. I will never do it again. One aisle for 200 + people for 7 hours? NO>
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
I depends on where you are going. Not every TATL destination warrants a wide body. NY to Bristol or Shannon doesn’t warrant a 747. You have to consider the cost and bother of connecting through LHR waiting two or three hours for a connection (in a narrow body of course). So, the narrow flight that is 6 hours vs the connecting WB at 9+ hours. I would be fresher and brighter on the former. I’d rather go through customs and security at BRS than Heathrow any day also.
empyreal
The meaning of the word popular is specific to being liked by people. Airlines aren't people. Popular with stockholders perhaps.
AndrewSchmidt
Andrew Schmidt 1
With a double aisle jet, you're not screwed during the meal or drink service trying to get to a bathroon with a blocked aisle. Usually they leave one aisle free for that. Last trip from Dublin to NYC, our 767 was replaced with a 757 and it was horrible.
502893jl
J Leis 1
I will select another flight before I did that.
dicklorna
G SCHLUETER 1
I still prefer the narrow body guys. I probably did a million miles in them. The wide body jets are like flying in a cheap movie theatre. Way too expansive for me. If I can not get the window seat I reserved I don't go.
frager
Gerry Ward 1
Memories of having flown trans Atlantic on 707's and DC-8's before the advent of the Queen of the skies,were brightened the first time I boarded a 747. Wow! Space and room and a double aisle to walk around to keep the leg cramps at bay. Yesterday I flew a Max-9 from FLL to MSP. The window was forward of my seat so I was beside the bulging wall. Guy in the middle seat was also my build so ended up flying sideways in my seat so we could fit. The thought of a trans Atlantic flight on one of those was a horrible thought. I would reroute to get a wide body even if it made for an extra connection. Airlines market their "popular seating plan" to airlines, not to passengers. No trans-Atlantic on a narrow body for this guy thank you very much.
TheDogeof88
Chuck Lavazzi 1
Interesting. Unless it's a full recline seat, though, I'm not likely to pay business class prices unless those prices are a significant discount from regular business class.
Viperguy46
Jesse Carroll 1
Until we get a Conservative President with some hevos, who can afford Business class? I'm 6'1" @220 #'s and pay extra for legroom. However, my feet still wouldn't fit behind a bulkhead! Got a pic somewhere I'll share if I find it!
Not going to fly much if any commercial from now on. Just putt along in my 80 mph truck!
kae0088
Ken Endacott 1
Trans Atlantic flights of 7-8 hours are not long haul. 12 hour flights of which there are many around the world are long haul and 17 hour flights such as Singapore to NY and Perth to London are ultra long haul. What will the upcoming 19-20 hour flights such as Sydney to London be called?
mikehe
Around the world in 80 coffees?
Kensterfly
Ken Thompson 4
Call it what you want, the travel industry calls TATL flights LONG HAUL.
Propwash122
Peter Fuller 2
You want long haul? Here ya go:

“On September 29, 1957, a TWA L1649A Starliner flew from Los Angeles to London in 18 hours and 32 minutes…..The L1649A holds the record for the longest-duration, nonstop passenger flight aboard a piston-powered airliner. On TWA’s first London-to-San Francisco flight on October 1-2, 1957, the aircraft stayed aloft for 23 hours and 19 minutes….”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Constellation#Records

The L1649A was a long-range Constellation variant.

In those days, with no laptops, tablets, seatback screens, passengers could only sit there, eat, drink, sleep, read books or magazines, talk or play cards with traveling companions, all the while listening to the drone of engines and props. Of course the seats were probably roomier and more comfortable than we have now, and the passengers better behaved.

For a captain’s account of piloting a Los Angeles-London Connie flight:

https://airfactsjournal.com/2014/09/archives-bob-buck-flies-connie-la-london/
send2gl
Geoff Lane 2
Everything is comparative, Journey to Space Station takes around 24 hours whereas Ireland to UK can be just an hour. I would regard 7-8 hours as long haul, Sydney to London in one hop, that would be tiring but guess the split flight tiring too.
sparjolly
R Jolly 1
Forever?
dalej2
Dale Johnson 1
We traveled to Vietnam in a chartered 707 packed three seats on each side of the aisle. I didn't hear much grumbling.
dalej2
Dale Johnson 1
As I recall it was a 18 hour flight with a stop in Hono. box lunch I think...long time ago in another place another world.
ewrcap
David Beattie 1
Really long-ass haul!😜
dcrose1942
Diana Rose 1
Fly early morning, lots of empty seats at this time; lift arm rest, put feet up on adjacent seat, stretch out. Coast to Coast...NYC-LA is not full early a.m.
dalej2
Dale Johnson 1
They used to fly DC8's and 707'ss, people passengers were happy and dressed up too. Now days people grumble if they don't travel in luxury while wearing flip flops and shorts with a bourbon in hand and creating a scene...It's a different world out there these days.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Lol! Best part about SWA’s unassigned seating is you get a shot at avoiding the above described types.
stephenantall
Stephen Antall 0
That's a good enough reason for me to stay away from the low demand cities. For me, the busier, the better!!

Tom Novak, I have a question for you: Do you have any connections to a place called Pringle, Pennsylvania????

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